The Dangers of Social Media for Radio

Will social media mentions lead to radio tune-in? Will likes and shares and comments lead to ratings?

That’s your hope, of course. Because we all know that no commercial broadcaster would devote an iota of effort to social media if he or she didn’t believe there was some translation – no matter how indirect – to ratings.

The same could be said of movies, right? Why promote your movie across social media unless it leads to box office results?

Check out what filmmaker Steven Soderbergh discovered when he went all in with his marketing budget on social media (courtesy Recode Media) for one particular movie project:

“People in the social media digital space find that activity – circulating in that world, liking stuff, pushing it around, watching it – to be a pleasurable activity in and of itself. It is a discrete form of entertainment for them that does not necessarily lead to buying a ticket to a movie. [They’ll say] let’s look at the trailer, let’s discuss the trailer, let’s share.”

In other words, the behaviour around the movie and its trailer in the social context is the actual entertainment being consumed – it’s not the build up, the promotion, for the entertainment on another platform. That is, you don’t have to see the movie to enjoy it all the same. You can just view and share and comment on the trailer and on the comments to the trailer. That itself is the entertainment. Who needs the actual movie?

Soderbergh continued:

“The number of eyeballs that we got on all the content we dropped was ridiculously high. We were successful in that regard. What we learned was people just like doing that to do it because if 1 percent of those people had bought tickets we have made an obscene amount of money.”

“What we learned was people just like doing that to do it.” That is, it is the culmination of the entertainment experience, not the midpoint along the path.

When your social media is more entertaining than your station, your social media becomes all the entertainment your audience needs. Who needs the station?

Sometimes compelling social media is not a means to an end, it is the end itself.

This post has been republished with permission from the author. Mark Ramsey is head of Mark Ramsey Media, a company providing audience research to boost ratings and strategic wisdom to media companies across platforms.

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10 Jan 2018 - 4:10 pm

I’d wholeheartedly agree with this, I often find myself enjoying Kyle & Jackie O on social and would consider myself a listener but upon reflection, I haven’t tuned to their FM show any weeks.

10 Jan 2018 - 7:38 pm

We all know of talent or shows who have a huge social media following or they get lots of likes or views but don’t rate with gfk.

10 Jan 2018 - 7:40 pm

It’s scary when radio folk ask have you seen their video’s etc The question is have you heard their show.

Dr Spock
12 Jan 2018 - 8:44 am

Em Rusciano has a massive social media following but no ratings. Different mediums end of story.


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